Break Free by Free Writing

I’ve gotten the kids off to school and I sit here at my desk sipping my green tea. I’m not a morning coffee drinker. It’s just too harsh on my stomach, but the cool tea with honey wakes me up just fine. The sun shines out my window and a neighbor’s flag waves in the distance. The leaves of the oak trees shiver, just enough to tell me I should stay right where I am. I’d love to write this post from my favorite spot on the deck, but I’m not hearty when it comes to writing outside. I love to feel the warm air on my face as I dream up fabulous words, but any hint of a chill, and I’m distracted, bordering on crabby. I really hate being cold! So until the mercury rises just a bit more, I’ll appreciate the sparkle of the sunshine through the glass.

I wondered all week what to write this post about. I didn’t actually stress over it, but I did want to write something worthwhile. Filler posts aren’t worth anyone’s time really. It wasn’t until well after I sat down this morning and opened a new document (even before I broke out the green tea), that I realized I had something worth sharing.

I’m not sure why I opened a new document in the first place. I have plenty of current projects to keep me busy. Just yesterday, I flip flopped all over the place from my business project draft, to my middle grade revisions, to my query letter, to my twitter pitches, to my critique partner’s MS and back again to each one several times. My head felt like a pin ball all day and maybe the thought of adding in a blog post was too much for even my word-loving brain to handle.

So I tucked those other projects neatly away for a bit. I forgot all the pressures they (at least sometimes) present. And I stared at the empty, beautiful white page before me.

And I wrote whatever came to mind. I wrote phrases about lady bugs. Words to describe the sun. A scene about riding in a kayak. A description about someone—I’m not sure who. I described a hardware store. Maybe because I’m writing about one in my work project. I described a foreign city. Funny because I’ve never been there, but have read and heard so much about it, that I’d love to include it in one of my books someday. Just writing about what I imagine to be true, for a short time anyway, seemed almost as amazing as being there.

I wrote a list of words, in no particular order, but I realized later, they are all words that make me happy like fireflies, dream, imagine, water, daisies, stars, cinnamon, soar, shoes, charm, romance, friendship, fairy tales, vacation, inspire, create, laugh, sparkle, family, climb, float…

I wrote a quote by Audrey Hepburn…”Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’!”

Then I wrote a scene about a crayon, and all her pretty crayon friends. It was fun. It was random. It was descriptive. And it rhymed!

And after all that writing, my empty page was transformed into a page filled with my random, morning thoughts. It was just what I needed to refresh myself, and my love of writing.

So much time is spent perfecting our stories and our queries and our pitches—as it should be. But the business of getting published should never cause us to lose our love of writing—of arranging words into pretty phrases and developing them into unforgettable stories and characters. Our work will benefit from taking a moment, every so often, to free write. To let our creative, unstressed minds take over and spill whatever they want onto the page.

And then I closed the page, and opened another—this blog post page. 🙂 I hope it will help you to take a step back and remember why you became a writer in the first place—because you get to write!

If any of you are participating in #PitMad tomorrow on twitter, I’ll be there! Look my tweets up and connect with me if you like. You can finally see what my middle grade is about! (Just please don’t favorite any of my tweets.) It’s a Pitch Party run by author, Brenda Drake for agents to peruse the twitter pitches and favorite any they may be interested in seeing more of. Feel free to retweet them though, and I’ll be happy to do the same for you. 🙂 Any writer can enter. If you’d like details, just check out her website. Hope to see you there!

Have an amazing week, my friends. Hope it’s full of fun, sunshine, and fabulous words!

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